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Significant Digits For Friday, Dec. 14, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

10,246,035 dislikes and counting

YouTube has an annual tradition of releasing a “Rewind” video, meant to celebrate the past year on the platform. The company’s 2018 version, however, has become the most disliked video in the history of the platform, with 10,246,035 dislikes as of Thursday — and counting. It surpassed even the 9,910,204 dislikes on the music video for Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” The dubious record set by “Rewind” was apparently due, in part, to Bieber fans disliking the video en masse, wanting to unburden themselves and “Baby.” [The Washington Post]

133-acre campus

Apple plans to build a $1 billion, 133-acre campus in Austin, Texas, that will employ 5,000 people, continuing an unabashed and apparently unstoppable tech-driven sterilization of what were once interesting American cities. Hi, San Francisco. Hi, Seattle. Hi, New York. [NPR]

70 finches

Customs officials at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York found 70 live finches hidden in hair rollers in the duffel bag of a passenger arriving from Guyana. The birds are thought to have been brought to the U.S. to participate in underground singing contests. [The Guardian]

2 technicians

Two technicians at a U.S. research base in Antarctica run by the National Science Foundation died this week. They were performing maintenance on a building that houses a generator for a radio transmitter, and what appeared to be smoke was seen coming from the building. The station is the largest in Antarctica, currently home to more than 1,000 people. [Reuters]


The court battle between Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams on one side and Marvin Gaye’s family on the other has ended. Thicke and Williams were ordered to pay Gaye’s family $4,983,766.85 for plagiarizing Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” in Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines.” The latter song, however, made them $16 million. [Vulture]

16 days

President Trump is planning a 16-day holiday visit to his Florida club, Mar-a-Lago, according to an alert issued by the Federal Aviation Administration that warns pilots to avoid the airspace over the club from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6. That would be his longest visit to Mar-a-Lago since he became president. [The Palm Beach Post]

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If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.